UNDP in Eswatini


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a global knowledge network advocating for sustainable human development and connecting countries to knowledge, experiences and resources to help societies build better lives. UNDP works with countries to advance and implement their own solutions to development challenges. For over 40 years, UNDP has been significantly supporting the Government of Eswatini in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable livelihoods.

Aligned with the National Development Strategy (NDS), Vision 2022 of the Kingdom of Eswatini, through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2016-2020) and the Country Programme Document (CPD), UNDP has committed to supporting the Government in the following areas:

     (a) inclusive growth and sustainable development;

    (b) equitable and efficient delivery and access to social services; and

    (c) good governance and accountability.

Country Programme Document (CPD)

The country programme is closely aligned to the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini's National Development Strategy which is implemented through the mid-term National Action Plan. Our programmes are designed to address the interlinked issues of economic growth, natural resource, management through increased institutional accountability and greater inclusion of the citizen for the achievement of sustainable growth. Decisions are made by the Resident Representative and Resident Coordinator on the part of UNDP and by the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD) from the side of the Government.


The 2016-2020 UNDAF has been developed according to the UN principles of 'Delivering as One' (DaO), aimed at ensuring Government ownership, demonstrated through UNDAF’s alignment to the Government priorities, as well as internal coherence among UN agencies and programmes operating in Eswatini. The Framework was developed under the leadership of the Government, and reflects the efforts of all UN agencies working in Eswatini and as shaped by five UNDG programming principles: Human Rights-based approach, gender equality, environmental sustainability, capacity development, and results-based management. The United Nations Country Team (UNCT), under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, is responsible for the implementation of the UNDAF. Under the DaO “One Leader” approach, the Resident Coordinator and the UNCT are responsible for the oversight of the Results Groups, the Operations Management Team and the UN Communications Group. The Joint National Steering Committee oversees directly the One Budgetary Framework and Programmes. Results UNCT-led Joint Annual Work Plans (JAWPs) consists of nationally prioritised interventions supported by UN Agencies including UNDP which saw 100% of the 4 Regions of the country implement activities that promote inclusive economic growth targeting vulnerable groups and communities. This has assisted in uptake of the various global instruments including the SDG 2030 Agenda which was integrated into Vision 2022 in 2016 with support from UNDP. National and Regional engagements brought together key stakeholders from the government, civil society and private sector to act in cohesion towards prioritisation of the goals and targets. The establishment of the Treaty Reporting Mechanism through the Inter-Ministerial Committee led to the successful submission of the UPR addressing key issues and recommendations. This resulted in the removal of the country from the ILO Special Paragraph and prompted re-consideration of the country’s participation in global preferential trade processes. UNDP supported high and broad reaching policy impact undertaking for adoption of economic growth nodes. Such resulted in the production of the Special Processing Zone Policy and Bill which culminated in the enactment in 2017. National processing areas have been designated and furnished with infrastructure implements. In addition, with the support of UNDP, Eswatini reinforced its global commitment to climate risk management, and made progress with regards to natural resources and biodiversity management and renewable energy. Eswatini further demonstrated its global commitment to respond to climate risks and building resilience. The government approved the National Climate Change Policy in 2016 and operationalising the National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2014-2019. The government launched the Resilience Strategy and Action Plan 2017-2030, which articulates the country’s prevention risks and early recovery. This was realised through a coordinated response to the El Nino drought impacts with assistance that reached a third of the population receiving emergency and early recovery building support.


The United Nations Country Team (UNCT), under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, is responsible for the implementation of the UNDAF. Under the DaO “One Leader” approach, the Resident Coordinator and the UNCT are responsible for the oversight of the Results Groups, the Operations Management Team and the UN Communications Group. The Joint National Steering Committee oversees directly the One Budgetary Framework and Programmes.

     1. Business Operations System (BOS): UNDP lead efforts on the development of the Business Operations Strategy (BOS) and explore options to consolidate part of the local operational support in the form of an integrated service center covering local procurement, part of local recruitment, ICT and logistics/fleet management. The move to the new UN Common Premises mid 2016 provides an excellent opportunity for the building to facilitate the new business model of DaO.

   2. One Programme and Joint Annual Workplans: UNDP will position itself in a leadership role in thematic areas and working groups that reflects UNDPs strategic focus of the CPD. The country office will work on the basis of Integrated Annual Work plans organized across thematic clusters of the UNDAF. Although this practice was introduced in 2016, several challenges will be addressed to fully operationalize this model. UNDP is currently chairing the Governance group under the One Programme.

  3. New UN Common Premises: UNDP has led efforts to establish a new UN Common Premises. It is worth noting that the premises are delivered under a full Public-Private Partnership set-up which governing the construction project in line with UNDG Common Premises guidelines. The building will be shared with external partners such as the European Union. This co-location is expected to lead to potentially closer engagement with the EU in terms of business operations as well as programme engagement. This new building is a critical enabler for the broader delivering as one effort. The UNCT, including UNDP, will explore options for functional clustering of programme and operations staff to further reinforce the efforts under the One Programme and the BOS.

Advancing the national integration of 2030 Agenda

UNDP’s support to the Government of Eswatini leans towards upstream initiatives, principally targeting policy advisory and planning, budgeting and M&E, statistics and data reform, capacity strengthening and advocacy. Additionally, support is provided in addressing crucial emerging issues such as climate change, youth empowerment and governance as ingrained in the NDS. With the launch of the SDGs in 2016, the Government continues to mainstream the prioritized targets in all national planning with a view to strengthening the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). A medium-term SDG programme has been developed to complement ongoing efforts of UNDP and the UN System to reinforce governance and strategic planning functions of the government. UNDP plays a critical convening role that supports a people-centered multi-stakeholder approach to development — placing the governments, private sector, researchers, academia, media and civil society in solution-driven discussion platforms and partnerships.

UNDP’s Approach

Through the SDG Programme, the Government and the UN System in Eswatini work together to prioritize and localize the SDG goals and targets, establishing linkages with the NDS-prioritized actions through the following strategies:

    •  Policy Support for transitioning towards an SDG-based national planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting system;

    •  Capacity development for institutional, human and financial capacity supporting national SDG- based planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting;

    •  Knowledge management and exchange, especially through South- South cooperation;

    •  Advocacy enhancing awareness creation and engagement in the SDG programme; and

    •  Partnership development, ensuring an inclusive approach involving a wide range of stakeholders including academic, private sector, media and civil society partnerships.


Contact us

Postal address
P.O. Box 261, Mbabane
H100 Kingdom of Eswatini

Physical Address: 4th Floor, UN House, Somhlolo Rd, Mbabane 

Email: registry.sz@undp.org

Telephone numbers

Tel: +268 2409 6600/1


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